Karnataka govt plans mass marriages to help poor people

The Karnataka government on Thursday announced that mass marriages would be organised by certain temples coming under Muzrai department, aimed at helping those from financially weak background.

Temples would be spending Rs 55,000 per couple for the marriage, which includes eight gram gold 'thali' (mangalasutra) worth Rs 40,000.

"At select 'A' category temples that come under muzrai department, there is a plan to hold mass marriages, after holding a meeting with officials.. at the first stage 90-100 temples have been selected and circular will be issued," Minister for Muzrai Kota Srinivas Poojari said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said, mass marriages would be held on April 26 and May 24.

"Before 30 days of the scheduled date, names of those getting married has to be registered at the temples; this will be followed by announcement of list of those getting married," he said, adding at no cost there would be any chance for second marriage, and extra care will be taken to see to that prescribed age to get married as per law is ensured.

The programme is aimed at benefiting poor people; however, there is no specification that it was limited for BPL families. Noting that those getting married would be given eight gram gold 'thali' (mangalasutra) worth about Rs 40,000 from temples, the Minister said, Rs 5000 would be given to the groom for clothings and other expenditure, while Rs 10,000 for bride, which would be deposited into their bank account soon after the wedding.

The thali would be procured in a transparent procedure, and district deputy commissioners would be responsible for this, he said. 'A' category temples with high income and good resources have been chosen for organising mass marriages. There are 190 'A' category temples in the state.

Among those, 100 temples with good resources have been selected which include, Kukke Subramanya and Mysuru Chamundeshwari temple.

He said, to avoid misuse of the programme, when the list of those tying the knot during the mass marriage is announced, objections would be invited. The plan is to conduct about 1,000 marriages in 90-100 temples that have been selected, the Minister said, the numbers may even increase.

"Traditions have been considered in setting the date. Those getting married can opt for one of the dates to get married," he said.

Poojari said there have been incidences of theft of idols and ornaments related to Muzrai temples, and keep ingthis in view it has been decided to have district level meetings with officials about providing security and installing CCTV cameras.

He also said, a committee has been constituted under the chairmanship of M N Hegde from the Yakshagana Academy regarding the yardsticks to be followed in fixation of pay to Yakshagana artists performing at temples in the state, also regarding their pension and insurance.

The committee will submit a report in three months.

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